Singapore Major: Na'Vi, VP to attend with subs as players get ill, two with COVID-19

Kurt Lozano
·Esports Content Producer
·3-min read
Pictured: Egor
Pictured: Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko from Virtus.pro, Bogdan "Iceberg" Vasilenko and Andrii "ALWAYSWANNAFLY" Bondarenko from Natus Vincere. (Photos: Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere)

Two of the CIS teams attending the upcoming ONE Esports Singapore Major, Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) and Virtus.pro (VP), will be attending the tournament with substitutes after three of their players came down with illnesses, including two Na'Vi players with the coronavirus.

Na'Vi announced on Saturday (20 March) that midlaner Bogdan "Iceberg" Vasilenko and team captain Andrii "ALWAYSWANNAFLY" Bondarenko tested positive for the coronavirus prior to the team's departure to Singapore.

The Singapore Major's rules state that, even if those two players managed to recover in time for the event, they will still be unable to play in order to minimize risk of exposure for other players. With two of their players out, Na'Vi has called up team coach Andrey "Mag" Chipenko and free agent Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev as substitutes.

Mag will take over the position 5 support role from ALWAYSWANNAFLY while Ramzes, whose last Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) appearance came as the offlaner for North American team Evil Geniuses last year, will fill in Iceberg's spot as Na'Vi's midlaner.

Meanwhile, VP previously announced on Thursday (18 March) that they have listed former carry player, Igor "iLTW" Filatov, as a substitute for the team's current carry player, Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko, as a precautionary measure.

VP said in its statement that Nightfall started exhibiting symptoms for the coronavirus several days before they announced iLTW was being listed as his potential substitute. With that said, all of VP's players tested negative for the coronavirus and Nightfall's condition has since then stabilized after he was isolated from the rest of the team.

VP added that their goal is to have Nightfall fully recovered and to attend the Major with their original lineup. However, with Nightfall unable to practice with the team due to his health condition, the organisation described its decision to list iLTW as his substitute to be "well considered" as he has already begun to practice with the roster in case his services do end up being required.

VP and Na'Vi are two of the three representatives for the CIS in the Singapore Major, with AS Monaco Gambit being the third team from the region attending the event.

As the top team of the CIS regional league, VP earned a direct seed to the Major playoffs, which start on 31 March. Na'Vi, the second-placed team in the league, will start the event from the group stage on 29 March.

Teams participating in the Singapore Major are expected to depart for Singapore in the coming days, if not already departed. Foreign teams coming to the republic will not need to quarantine for 14 days, instead being required to undergo a 48-hour isolation period upon their arrival to the country and follow a strictly-controlled itinerary during their stay.

In addition, teams that have been eliminated from the Singapore Major are required to leave immediately in order to minimise the risk of further exposure to them and the remaining teams in the tournament.

The Singapore Major is scheduled to start on 27 March and will run until 4 April. The event will feature 18 teams from the DPC's six regional leagues competing for the lion's share of a US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool.

For everything you need to know about the ONE Esports Singapore Major, check here.

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